The behaviour of television camerapersons has yet again attracted heavy criticism following their reckless actions while covering an event at the National Institute of Traumatology & Orthopaedic Rehabilitation in Dhaka last Tuesday.
Mass media analysts have warned that in a bid to break a news story, reporters and journalists are frequently ignoring the core guidelines of this profession, which could lead to dangerous situations.
Meanwhile, journalist leaders said the organizations concerned must take action against their employees, if they fail to maintain professionalism.
Earlier on December 5, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader visited a female student currently under treatment at the orthopaedic hospital. In the treatment ward, several camerapersons, desperate for good footage, climbed onto other patients’ hospital beds with their shoes on.
Dr MC Pal, a doctor of the hospital, took photos of this incident and posted them on Facebook.
As the caption for the photo, Dr Pal wrote: “A female students’ leader is currently undergoing treatment at NITO (orthopaedic hospital). She underwent surgery recently. Minister Obaidul Quader came to visit her.
“We were conducting our round at that time. The journalists came by the hundreds and started a commotion. They wanted to climb on the shoulders of the patients to take their shot. Just look at this picture. What do you expect from these sanghatics in this country?”
“Sanghatic,” which means dangerous, is play on the word Sangbadik, which means journalist.
Addressing the issue, Associate Professor of Dhaka University’s Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Robaet Ferdous told the Bangla Tribune: “The core ethics of journalism are not being followed most of the time. Cameras should not be allowed where patients are kept at a hospital.
“The journalists are displaying a lack of sensitivity while covering events.”She also added that those camerapersons might have insulted the patients.
Mentioning another incident, prof Ferdous said: “I have seen journalists taking footage from inside the mosquito net of a patient in the hospital’s CCU. Not all footages or images should be shown to the viewers, but some journalists pay no heed to their moral compass.”
Shamsul Huda, a senior cameraperson by profession said: “Untrained and uneducated camerapersons and pressure from the media organization concerned could be a reason for this kind of behavior. We frequently witness this sort of unprofessional acts.”
The journalists should be more careful, he added.
Commenting on the matter, General Secretary of the National Press Club Farida Yasmin said: “Media workers should consider the matters of privacy and security of a patient, as they are more vulnerable to germ infection. Media workers should be more careful.”
Farida pointed out that media organizations concerned have a responsibility to warn their employees not to engage in unprofessional practices.
Meanwhile, journalist leader Sohel Haidar added that an assignment can be covered without causing disturbance to the people.
“An ill person needs empathy not only from his family members, but also from everyone. Those who work in the field to hunt for news stories should be vigilant not to cause disruption in the lives of the people,” Sohel concluded.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune